A PROPERTY TAX CUT

A LEADING think-tank has called for a property tax cut after revealing that the UK pays more than any other country in the developed world - £60billion a year.

Charges including stamp duty, council tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and business rates cost us a sum equal to 4.1 per cent of Britain’s economic output. In Germany, it stands at just 0.9 per cent.

Alex Morton, of the think-tank Policy Exchange, which compiled the report, said: “No other developed country taxes property more heavily than the UK. Yet rising house prices and falling levels of home ownership have led to many calling for an increase to land and property taxes.

“But these issues will only be solved by genuine reform of the outdated planning system, not a tax raid on people’s homes.”

The report also criticised the Liberal Democrats’ proposal for a mansion tax on properties worth more than £2million as it would penalise those who live in “small but valuable” homes.

It adds: “Some people paying will not have an income that in any way relates to the value of their property and capacity to pay the tax.”

Stamp duty has been repeatedly increased by both Labour and the Conservatives since 1997. If that trend continues, the tax could cost us £9.4billion a year by 2018.

Policy Exchange says it would be “sensible” to reduce the duty. Its report also calls for radical moves to make it easier for people to buy their own home with a marked increase in the number of new homes built every year: another 1.5million by 2020. Currently, just 110,000 home are built annually.

DOMVS: 17th Jan 2014 11:34:00